IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency), July 31, 2002
Brussels, July 31, IRNA — A population survey in the Netherlands shows that Islam comes on top in the list of religions in the capital Amsterdam.
Christianity (Catholic and Protestant), Judaism and other registered religions come after Islam, the website IslamOnline reported Tuesday.
Statistics published in the Dutch Metro daily newspaper Monday, July 29, stated that 13 percent of the capital’s population are Muslims while not more than 10 percent are Catholics, 5 percent are
followers of the Protestant Church, and only 1 percent are Jews. Followers of other religions together stand at 12 percent.
The Dutch paper, printing three million copies daily and distributed for free, reported that the number of Muslims in the early 20th century was insignificant. Only one Muslim was registered in the Civil Office in Amsterdam.
However, in the beginning of the 21st century, Muslims represent the biggest religious mass, numbering officially 88,000 out of roughly over 600,000 people in Amsterdam.
There are several elements behind the fast spread of Islam, top of which is the fact that 59 percent of the Dutch capital’s population do not believe in any religion.
Moreover, the influence of churches on the Dutch people has retreated significantly in general, in Amsterdam in particular.
In contrast , many researchers believe that Islam is spreading fast in Netherlands as Muslims are more respectful of Islamic teachings compared to followers of other religions.
Islam also attracts new followers especially from African ethnic minorities or those who have no religion.
Several Dutch Muslims believe the number of Muslims in the capital is even bigger than the officially registered number. Thousands of Muslims live in the capital illegally due to the tough immigration measures in the Netherlands.
A previous Dutch statistics noted that one child among four children born in the Netherlands is Muslim. This means that half of those under 18 will be Muslims within the coming 20 years.